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Encyclopedia > Eagle feather law

There are a number of federal wildlife laws pertaining to eagles and their feathers (e.g. The Lacey Act, The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act), however the " eagle feather law " in its most common usage refers to Title 50 Part 22 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 22), the federal law governing the use and possession of eagle feathers as religious objects. Genera Eagles are large birds of prey, who inhabit mainly the Old World, with only two species (Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) in North America, a few in South America and three (White-bellied Sea Eagle, Little Eagle and Wedge-tailed Eagle) in Australia. ... The United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. ... Genera Eagles are large birds of prey, who inhabit mainly the Old World, with only two species (Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) in North America, a few in South America and three (White-bellied Sea Eagle, Little Eagle and Wedge-tailed Eagle) in Australia. ... Religious is a term with both a technical definition and folk use. ...


The eagle feather law provides certain exceptions to federal wildlife laws regarding eagles and other migratory birds to enable Native Americans to continue to practice traditional indigenous religious and spiritual customs, of which the use and possession of eagle feathers is central. The eagle feather has often been compared to the Bible or crucifix. Genera Eagles are large birds of prey, who inhabit mainly the Old World, with only two species (Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) in North America, a few in South America and three (White-bellied Sea Eagle, Little Eagle and Wedge-tailed Eagle) in Australia. ... Native Americans is a term which has several different common meanings and scope, according to regional use and context. ... The word indigenous is an adjective derived from the Latin word indigena, meaning native, belonging to, aboriginal; and has several applications: Indigenous peoples, communities and cultures native or indigenous to a territory; Indigenous (band), a Native American blues-rock band; In biology, indigenous means native to a place or biota... Religious is a term with both a technical definition and folk use. ... Look up spiritual in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Genera Eagles are large birds of prey, who inhabit mainly the Old World, with only two species (Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) in North America, a few in South America and three (White-bellied Sea Eagle, Little Eagle and Wedge-tailed Eagle) in Australia. ... The Gutenberg Bible owned by the United States Library of Congress The Bible (Hebrew: תנ״ך tanakh, Greek: η Βίβλος hē biblos, the book) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Work of God, The Word of God, The Word, The Good Book, Scripture, or The Scriptures), is the name used by Jews and Christians... A crucifix amidst the cornfields near Mureck in rural Styria, Austria A handheld crucifix A crucifix in front of the Holy Spirit Church in Košice, Slovakia A crucifix is a cross with a representation of Jesuss body, or corpus. ...


Under the current language of the eagle feather law, only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally-recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers and eagle feather permits. Those caught with eagle feathers for religious use without permits can be arrested and face fines up to $25,000 and imprisonment. Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


Obtaining an eagle permit under the eagle feather law can be complicated. To legally possess eagle feathers for use in Native American spiritual practices, citizens must first be able to legally prove their ethnicity. This is generally accomplished by providing documentation of Native American ancestry officially recorded in the original Dawes Rolls (or Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, or the Dawes Commission of Final Rolls) and documentation of current membership in a federally-recognized tribe. Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ... Look up spiritual in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ... The Dawes Rolls were created by the Dawes Commission. ...


Tribal membership often requires a minimum blood quantum of ¼ Native American ancestry (having at least one grandparent who was full blood Native American), although blood quantum requirements for tribal membership vary widely. Blood Quantum Laws is an umbrella term that describes legislation enacted to define membership in Native American groups. ...


While the eagle feather law allows for individuals who are adopted members of federally-recognized tribes to obtain eagle feathers and eagle feather permits, all applicants for eagle permits must submit an application to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for religious use of eagle feathers. The USFWS logo The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that is dedicated to managing and preserving wildlife. ...

Contents


Historical Aspects of the Eagle Feather Law

Tribal enrollment, permits, and blood quantum criteria for tribal membership were unheard of to indigenous people prior to European colonization of the Americas as indigenous or Native American tribal membership was traditionally based on acceptance of tribal language, customs, and authority, rather than "blood." Blood Quantum Laws is an umbrella term that describes legislation enacted to define membership in Native American groups. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The word indigenous is an adjective derived from the Latin word indigena, meaning native, belonging to, aboriginal; and has several applications: Indigenous peoples, communities and cultures native or indigenous to a territory; Indigenous (band), a Native American blues-rock band; In biology, indigenous means native to a place or biota... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


As early as the 1500s, escaped slaves, whites and other indigenous people were able to participate in indigenous religious customs (including the use and possession of eagle feathers) and join and be accepted as full tribal members of different tribes. The list of tribal adoptees includes many historical and notable figures, including Daniel Boone, Kevin Costner, former California Governor Gray Davis, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, and former Secretary of the Interior and Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt. The Buxton Memorial Fountain, celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, London. ... Daniel Boone Daniel Boone (November 2, 1734 – September 26, 1820) was an American pioneer, frontiersman and Indian-fighter, who blazed the trail known as the Wilderness Road and founded Boonesborough, Kentucky (also known as Boonesboro). ... Kevin Costner from the movie Wyatt Earp. ... Joseph Graham Davis Jr. ... Brian Schweitzer (born September 4, 1955) is the Governor of Montana and a member of the Democratic Party. ... Bruce Babbitt Bruce Edward Babbitt (born June 27, 1938), a Democrat, served as United States Secretary of the Interior and as Governor of Arizona. ...


Constitutionality of the Eagle Feather Law

The constitutionality of the eagle feather law has often been called into question due to the First Amendment (1791) prohibition of laws that affect the establishment or free practice of religion: The first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. ...


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”


The law’s constitutionality has also been subject to extensive criticism on grounds that the law creates racial preferences and racial segregation by denying religious freedom in the use of eagle feathers due to an individual’s race or ethnicity. The Rex Theatre for Colored People, Leland, Mississippi, June 1937 This entry is related to, but not included in the Political ideologies series or one of its sub-series. ... Freedom of religion is the individuals right or freedom to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wishes, or none at all. ... For other senses of this word, see race (disambiguation). ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ...


Effects on Religious Freedom

The effects of the eagle feather law on religious freedom have been an ongoing matter of contention in the general Native American community due to the incomplete legal protections within the present law. While legal protections of eagle possession are afforded members of federally-recognized tribes, there are numerous Native Americans who are forbidden from possessing eagle feathers because they are members of non-federally-recognized tribes. Freedom of religion is the individuals right or freedom to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wishes, or none at all. ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


Individuals of Native American ancestry who are unable to prove their ancestry often cite “paper genocide,” the historical falsification of state records in which many Native Americans were recorded as “colored” or “other” in state and census records, as having artificially decreased the true number of indigenous people in the U.S. and terminated the “official” existence of many tribes. Consequently, many Native Americans cannot be found on the Dawes Rolls, many Native Americans are unable to prove their ethnicity, and many tribes are unable to win state or federal recognition. Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ... Kinship and descent is one of the major concepts of cultural anthropology. ... The word indigenous is an adjective derived from the Latin word indigena, meaning native, belonging to, aboriginal; and has several applications: Indigenous peoples, communities and cultures native or indigenous to a territory; Indigenous (band), a Native American blues-rock band; In biology, indigenous means native to a place or biota... Native Americans is a term which has several different common meanings and scope, according to regional use and context. ... The Dawes Rolls were created by the Dawes Commission. ... Native Americans is a term which has several different common meanings and scope, according to regional use and context. ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ...


Native Americans and non-Native Americans frequently contest the value and validity of the eagle feather law on grounds of its racial preferences and infringements on tribal sovereignty. The law does not allow Native Americans to give eagle feathers to non-Native Americans, a custom commonly practiced today. Many non-Native Americans have been adopted into Native American families, made tribal members and given eagle feathers. Native Americans is a term which has several different common meanings and scope, according to regional use and context. ... Tribal sovereignty is the ability of a tribe to govern itself. ... Native Americans is a term which has several different common meanings and scope, according to regional use and context. ...


Various controversies have surrounded the recipients of eagle feathers. For example Senator and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton gained national media attention when she was given a dream catcher adorned with eagle feathers by Clinton supporter Peggy A. Bargon in 1994. An investigation found that Bargon was selling migratory bird feathers and Bargon later plead guilty to the misdemeanor of violating Lacey Act and Bald Eagle protection Act and was fined $1,200. Clinton’s dreamcatcher was later turned over to agents from the USFWS by the White House. Ms. Bargon was later pardoned by outgoing President Bill Clinton. Hillary Rodham Clinton (born Hillary Diane Rodham on October 26, 1947) is the junior United States Senator from New York, serving her freshman term since January 3, 2001. ... The southern side of the White House The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States of America. ... Order: 42nd President Vice President: Al Gore Term of office: January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001 Preceded by: George H. W. Bush Succeeded by: George W. Bush Date of birth: August 19, 1946 Place of birth: Hope, Arkansas First Lady: Hillary Rodham Clinton Political party: Democratic William Jefferson Clinton (born...


Eagle Feather Controversy

The eagle feather controversy is an ongoing debate over the criteria of ownership and possession of eagle feathers and parts based on race or ethnicity and Native American tribal membership. For other senses of this word, see race (disambiguation). ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


There have been several legal challenges to the eagle feather law in which the law’s constitutionality and effects of racial segregation and racial preferences have been called into question. The Rex Theatre for Colored People, Leland, Mississippi, June 1937 This entry is related to, but not included in the Political ideologies series or one of its sub-series. ...


Presently there are a number of Native and non-Native American individuals and organizations dedicated to amending the language of the law to allow Native American tribes and tribal members greater opportunity to include select non-Native Americans as acceptable owners of eagles feathers for religious and spiritual use.


Typical reasons given for contesting changes to the eagle feather law include:


- The eagle feather law is the only legal protection of Native American spirituality; Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ... Spirituality is, in a narrow sense, a concern with matters of the spirit. ...


- Eagle supplies are limited. Increasing number of people who can have them may make feathers more scarce;


- Non-Native American people have not earned the right to have eagle feathers.



Typical reasons given in support of amending the eagle feather law include:


- Eagle feather laws impose racial preferences & segregation not traditionally found amongst Native American societies; Segregation means separation. ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


- The race requirement of tribal enrollment to possess eagles undermines tribal sovereignty rights to fully welcome and include others in tribal customs involving eagle feathers, and in so doing harms the preservation of traditional values and practices woven into indigenous societies that have welcomed non-Native Americans for centuries; For other senses of this word, see race (disambiguation). ... Tribal sovereignty is the ability of a tribe to govern itself. ...


- Restricting access to religious objects on the basis of ethnicity promotes the belief that unequal protection of civil rights is acceptable--that laws do not have to be applied equally to all races; This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ...


- Eagle permit certification restrictions based on race impede the ability of people with Native American ancestry, but who may be unable to prove their ancestry, from exploring their heritage; Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


- Many Native American people have given feathers to non-Native Americans who have been deemed to have earned the feathers; Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


- Forbidding religious participation on the basis of race encourages those who are approved to participate in Native American customs, but who are unable to obtain an eagle feathers through existing federal channels, to break the law in order to follow their beliefs; For other senses of this word, see race (disambiguation). ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


- Eagle laws promote unequal access to eagle feathers as religious objects;


- The law may encourage eagle poaching by not providing a legally protected avenue of acquiring eagles to those who are approved to participate in Native American customs but who are not able to become enrolled in a federally-recognized tribe; A seashell vendor sells seashells which have been taken alive from the water, killing the animal inside. ... Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


- Eagle laws forbid people from fully participating in bona fide Native American religions; Native Americans (also Indians, Aboriginal Peoples, American Indians, First Nations, Alaskan Natives, Amerindians, or Indigenous Peoples of America) are the indigenous inhabitants of The Americas prior to the European colonization, and their modern descendants. ...


- The eagle feather law instills artificial values on race, blood quantum and certifiable ancestry; For other senses of this word, see race (disambiguation). ... Blood Quantum Laws is an umbrella term that describes legislation enacted to define membership in Native American groups. ... Kinship and descent is one of the major concepts of cultural anthropology. ...


- The law harms Native American families and individuals who have adopted or wish to adopt or welcome non-Native Americans into their families and spiritual practices;


- Granting access to eagle feathers for approved participants of bona fide Native American customs may actually help in raptor conservation as this may translate into more people who revere raptors and who will want to protect them; Look up raptor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Conservation may refer to the following: Conservation ethic in relation to preserving ecosystems Conservationist Conservation movement Conservation ecology Conservation biology Energy conservation in reducing non-renewable energy consumption Conservation law of physics Conservation of energy Conservation of mass Conservation (genetics) in genetics Conservation (botany) in botanical nomenclature Conservation (psychology) in...


- Removing racial requirements from 50 CFR 22 will enable all U.S. citizen to apply for feathers to the National Eagle Repository, overseen by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. This would extend the ability of government-regulated programs and agencies to better protect raptors by decreasing the appeal and profitability of raptor poaching and trafficking;


References

Associated Press, Native American gets OK to use eagle feathers in religious practices (2002) [1]


Associated Press, Residents fight to use eagle feathers (2004) [2]


Boradiansky, Tina S. Conflicting Values: The Religious Killing of Federally Protected Wildlife (1990) [3]


DeMeo, Antonia M. Access to Eagles and Eagle Parts: Environmental Protection v. Native American Free Exercise of Religion (1995) [4]


Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR), Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries PART 22—EAGLE PERMITS [5]


Ellis, Kevin. Unprecedented Presidential Pardon! (2001) [6]


Horwich, Jeff. How Indian are you? (2001) [7]


Saenz v. Dept. of the Interior (2001) [8]


Katz, William. Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage (1997)


Livesay, Nora. Understanding the History of Tribal Enrollment (2002) [9]


Stokes, DaShanne. Legalized Segregation and the Denial of Religious Freedom,(In Press) [10]


Taliman, Valerie, Native Currents: Termination by Bureaucracy (2003) [11]


U.S. v. Hardman (2002) [12]


U.S. v. Jim (1995) [13]


U.S. v. Lundquist (1996) [14]


U.S. v. Thirty Eight Golden Eagles (1986) [15]


U.S. v. Wilgus (2001) [16]


Whitehead, Louis. Denying Assistance to Mixed Bloods Perpetuates Genocide (2006) [17]


Whiting, Lezlee E. Feather confiscation has family fuming (2004) [18]


Wyman, Mark. The Wisconsin Frontier. (1998)


See also

Organizations


Native American Rights Fund [19]


Religious Freedom with Raptors [20]


United States Fish and Wildlife Service [21]


Related topics

Human Rights Tribal Sovereignty Religious Freedom Bald Eagle Golden Eagle Wildlife Conservation Civil Rights Minority Rights Federal Wildlife Law Native Americans National Eagle Repository The United States Constitution Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Binomial name Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Linnaeus, 1766) The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), also known as the American Eagle, is a bird of prey found in North America, most recognizable as the national bird of the United States. ... Binomial name Aquila chrysaetos Linnaeus, 1758 The Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. ... Environmentalism is the support or involvement with the environmental movement by environmentalists. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... Native Americans is a term which has several different common meanings and scope, according to regional use and context. ... The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


External Links

Native American Rights Fund http://www.narf.org


Religious Freedom with Raptors http://www.geocities.com/eaglefeatherlaw


United States Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov


 
 

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